Absent Memories

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For this posting, I have invited author Beki Propst to share a bit on her incredible story. Please check out her book , Absent Memories: Moving Forward When You Can’t Look Back. Can you imagine if her story was yours? Post your feedback as a response to this blog, and let Beki know what you thought!

The most effective way to overcome failure is to fail to recognize it. When I lost all memories of my life at age 47, I had no idea what failure was. I couldn’t remember any of my experiences or education; I couldn’t even remember the people I’d grown up with. All I knew was that I had to learn how to support myself. At first, I didn’t even know what kinds of jobs were “out there,” but I learned quickly and managed to find enough work to survive (by working two or three jobs at the same time.)

I hadn’t lost everything; I could still read. But I had lost all my social skills, so I was flying on instinct—and I soon learned that—for me at least—instinct is not intrinsic; it’s based on memories. I lost three jobs in the first five years of my remembered life. I lived in “at-will” states, so I still don’t know why I was fired. I guess some people might view those terminations as failures, but I believe them to be simply a natural result of my ignorance of appropriate behavior. I hadn’t yet learned enough to know how I needed to act and what I needed to do to keep a job.

The only way to fail is to give up. People who have read my book, Absent Memories: Moving forward when you can’t look back, tell me it’s helped them appreciate their lives—and their memories. They tell me I’ve overcome obstacles that would have caused others to give up.

Life is full of challenges, but the ability to learn keeps those challenges from being obstacles. I believe I have no choice but to continue to learn why things don’t always turn out the way I want and expect them to. If reaching a goal is seen as an opportunity to learn, missed goals aren’t viewed as failures, but as steps along the road to success.

Remember: Never give up…not even when you can’t remember what to do!

Learn more about the author at her website: Absent Memories.

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3 Replies to “Absent Memories”

  1. Oh I live for the day that I can experience what this lady has been through.

    To be able to start your life over has to be purifying.

    Hard, yes but for some people a welcome syndrome.

  2. I know this is old but when I saw this website & the comment above, I couldn’t just wander by without a reply. A welcome syndrome??? Maybe if you can pick and choose which memories to wipe and erase & you want to forget your hairstyle choice from your sister’s wedding. I have an issue very similar which is what led me here (not total memory loss thank god!), but as bad as I feel some days, my issue doesn’t even compare to “losing” everything & everyone in my life in one quick swipe as Beki. A welcome syndrome??? That comment isn’t meant to be, but it it’s sort of an insult. “I only wish I could have that, it sounds like fun”. That’s kind of like saying you wish you could be anorexic b/c you’d like to lose a few pounds. 😉

  3. Kim- Thank you for stopping by the website and leaving your comment. I hadn’t thought about this post in a while, and your note prompted me to re-read the previous comment. I agree with your sentiment that if we could ‘pick and choose’ which memories to erase, it might be convenient. Reality, though, is that we don’t. As I recall, Beki’s story is one of resilience and overcoming some incredible circumstances. Thanks for not just virtually walking on by, and asking anyone else who finds this post to consider what it really means.
    -Scott

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